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A tough Irish cop. A prostitute. A massive cover-up that stretches to the highest levels of law enforcement . . . and its fatal impact on three generations of a New York police family.
Harlem, just before midnight. A New York Police Department cop and his partner pull up in front of a tenement. A short while later, Sergeant Brian O’Malley is dead from a stab wound to the jugular, and a prostitute has fallen down an airshaft to oblivion. A few years after his father is given a hero’s funeral, Brian Thomas O’Malley Jr. graduates from the police academy. As he rises quickly through the ranks of the NYPD, O’Malley discovers that some secrets are better left buried. Through the ensuing decades, as he raises a family of his own, O’Malley must cope with the fallout of a cover-up, until a fresh crime brings the plot full circle. Will the son have to pay for the sins of the father? This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy Uhnak including rare images from the author’s estate.
|Publisher:||Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||12 MB|
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About the Author
Dorothy Uhnak (1930–2006) was the bestselling, award-winning author of nine novels and one work of nonfiction. Policewoman, a memoir about her life as a New York City transit police detective, was written while Uhnak was still in uniform. The Bait (1968), her first novel, won the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel. She went on to hit the bestseller lists with novels including Law and Order (1973) and The Investigation (1977). Uhnak has been credited with paving the way for authors such as Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Patricia Cornwell, and many others who write crime novels and police procedurals with strong heroines. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages.
Read an Excerpt
Law and Order
By Dorothy Uhnak
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 1973 Dorothy Uhnak
All rights reserved.
Patrolman Aaron Levine kept his eyes on the traffic ahead of him as he tried to gauge the mood of the sergeant The thin tuneless whistling was neither irritable nor cheerful. It was just the automatic sound of breath forced through the slightly parted lips of Sergeant Brian O'Malley. Levine risked a quick glance to his right and his eyes flicked the hard clear-cut profile.
"Thinking of making a turn, are you?" Sergeant O'Malley asked while staring straight ahead.
"Oh, no, Sergeant, I was just checking that cab. He came kind of close."
"Them cabbies can handle themselves in traffic. They're not about to hit a patrol car. Let's take a left on 117th. We've got us some bad jigaboos on that block."
Levine's long bony fingers tightened on the steering wheel. Eight months and he still could not get used to it, this feeling of being an alien in an alien land; a silent witness, incredulous and always slightly afraid of the men with whom he worked.
Jesus, the niggers are hot stuff when they got their load on. You ought to see them on a Saturday night. Christ, you never seen anyone's eyes roll around, like they was going to pop the sockets. Hey, them wops is mean, vicious sons a' bitches when they got one of them vendettas of theirs going. But you gotta give them credit. They take care of their own and don't bother outsiders unless someone messes with them.
What kind of shit is this? How come I got the sheeny driving for me? How the hell did the little Ikey-kike work that?
"Take it nice and slow now. Let's give them the opportunity to get a good long look at us," O'Malley instructed. He pushed his hat up off his forehead, ran his finger under the sweatband. "Hot for October, Jesus, isn't it though?"
He started whistling softly again, turned to stare past his driver to the other side of the street. "Played basketball, did you, at City College?" he asked without preliminaries.
"Well, yes. Not varsity, that is. You have to be a junior to get on varsity." Levine seemed unable to stop repeating the word, which acted as an immediate irritant.
"The varsity?" Sergeant O'Malley twisted the word tightly. "And what the hell might that be: the varsity?"
The soft Irish voice posed the question with an innocence that Aaron Levine had learned to be wary of; anything to do with his two years at City College had to be handled with a degree of caution.
"Well, varsity is the regular college team. That gets to play against the other colleges. The rest of us, well, we're in squads and play against each other."
"Well, sounds like great sport. Takes stamina, then, all that runnin'?"
"I got the long legs for running, Sergeant," Levine said. He always tried to make the comment himself; his long pole legs were a sore point with him.
"As long as they run in the right direction," O'Malley said in his soft, ambiguous, accusatory way. "Let's pull up here, in front of the huge Packard. It's a living crime, isn't it, these jigs and their big cars while their kids roam the streets for food. Now Patrolman Levine"—Sergeant O'Malley shifted his compact body slightly and waited until the patrolman met his gaze—"this here is one of those stops which is what we will call 'unofficial.' Is my meaning perfectly clear to you?"
Aaron nodded. "Yes, Sergeant."
The sergeant's eyes studied him for a moment, unreadable in the darkness of the patrol car. "Well, let's just see how clear. What does it mean when I tell you this is an 'unofficial' stop?"
Aaron licked his dry lips with a dry tongue. Involuntarily his hands traced empty patterns in the air. "Well, Sergeant, it means that ... that we don't put it in the memo book. That you're ... taking a personal or something—"
O'Malley's voice cut him off. "It don't mean I'm 'taking a personal or something.' It means we didn't stop at all, so how the fuck could I be taking a personal if we didn't stop at all?"
The young patrolman responded quickly in what he hoped was an earnest, good-natured tone. "Yes, sir, Sergeant. We didn't stop at all. Right."
The sergeant smiled at him tightly, as though he was a stupid child who had just learned a simple lesson. "Well, that's fine now, just fine. What else did they teach up at the City College besides basketball? Well, don't worry about it, son, you'll learn out here before you know it." He got out of the patrol car, looked around, then leaned in the window. "Look at them little pickaninnies, will you, ten o'clock at night and them all over the place like little cockaroaches. Damn shame."
Aaron cut the motor but his fingers lingered on the ignition key for a moment He glanced at his wristwatch. God. Two more hours to go. Then two more tours of four to twelve, then a swing, the midnights. Whoever thought they were doing him a favor was wrong. Not that it was much of a choice, but given a choice, he'd prefer to patrol his tour alone, on foot.
He rubbed his tired eyes carefully with his fingertips and wondered, as he had wondered maybe a million times these last eight months: What in God's name am I doing here, a policeman, in a uniform, with a gun at my side?
Sergeant O'Malley opened the pack of Chesterfields. With his thumb, he pushed the bottom of the pack, then grasped a cigarette between his teeth. Restlessly, his eyes searched the barroom. Narrowed against the smoke and heavy acrid odors of human beings, his eyes were two dark-blue slashes, barely visible but aware of everyone around him. He hunched his broad shoulders forward, cupped his hands around the flickering match, inhaled deeply, blew the smoke straight out from his lungs.
"Pretty quiet tonight, Jappy. Where's the action?"
The bartender, a brown-skinned man with strangely slanted Oriental eyes, a fighter's flat nose and taut purple lips, turned as though to confirm the sergeant's observation. "Sure is quiet, Sergeant. Ain't much action, not nowhere. Middle of the week. Business been bad, Sergeant, real bad. You can know that for a fact."
O'Malley swallowed exactly half of the shot of whiskey and carefully replaced the glass directly over the small wet circle before him. "Don't give me none of that shit, now, Jappy."
He spoke without malice, absently, by rote.
The bartender ran his hands down the front of his body, which was covered by a dirty grayish apron. "Ain't no shit, Sergeant. Ain't nobody with money to spend. Not round here. Don't know myself how I gonna make the rent this month. That's a fact."
"Well, you just worry about making your 'rent' to yours truly and other things will take care of themselves, lad." He finished the whiskey and pulled his mouth down. "This must be pure kerosene. Likely take the lining off my stomach."
"Now, Sergeant, you know I keeps a special bottle just for you and your men."
"Sure you do, Jappy, sure you do. And someday I'm going to catch you putting something into it. You watch yourself and see if I don't."
O'Malley pulled himself from the bar and extended his hand. He gestured impatiently, his fingers snapping. "I haven't got all night, Jappy." He regarded the bill which was placed in his hand and shook his head. "Ah, now, you're having sport with me. Is that it?"
Jappy turned, hit the no-sale key and the drawer of the cash register slid open. He pointed to the small pile of bills. "Sergeant, I swear to God, I'm coming up most empty. Hell, ain't enough to put bread on my table."
O'Malley sighed and his fingers snapped inexorably. "Let's not exchange tales of woe, Jappy my boy. It's too late and I've got to get out and look this neighborhood over and keep the peace in the still of night."
Two single dollar bills were handed over, added mournfully to the five. O'Malley regarded the currency bleakly before his fist closed over it. "Ah, you've got to put some effort into it, lad. It's not much of a place you've got here, what with all the violations you've not taken care of, and what with stories around about tiny little kids, not bigger than this here bar"—he held his hand, palm down, level with the bar—"drinking their fill. Have a care, Jappy my boy. It's not much, but it is all you've got, after all. And I've got a lot of people over me who don't want to know your problems; they just want to see the green."
"Next week, Sergeant," Jappy said blandly, "things goin' to pick up for sure." He grinned, a wide, joyless but nonmalicious showing of his teeth. "Like the man say on the radio, good times just around the corner. Just don't know where that corner is, but sure would like to take my turn at it." He reached beneath the counter, moved his head sideways. "One for the road, Sergeant."
"No, no thanks the same, lad. One shot of that poison will do me. Stay out of trouble now, Jappy."
Jappy watched the large blue-uniformed man walk slowly, steadily along the bar and out the door. He watched O'Malley without anger or resentment or feelings of any kind.
O'Malley was just a fact of life, and as the facts of Jappy's life went, O'Malley was neither particularly good nor particularly bad.
Sergeant O'Malley tossed a pack of cigarettes to the young patrolman beside him.
Levine returned the cigarettes. "Thanks, Sergeant, but I don't smoke."
"Ah, don't smoke? Is it smoking seems like a bad thing to you?"
Carefully, trying to avoid offense, Aaron said, "Well, I still play a little ball, and smoking cuts my wind."
"I was afraid you might be worrying it would stunt your growth," O'Malley said caustically. "Take a right at the next corner. Fine. There now, see the little candy store down the street? Pull over just across from it." O'Malley, between puffs of smoke, regarded his driver thoughtfully for a moment. "Take a walk over there, lad, and say good evening to Mr. Horowitz. He's a nice enough old gent and always glad to see the boys in blue. He'll be especially glad to see one speaks his own language, in a manner of speaking."
Aaron nodded. "Right, Sergeant."
Sergeant O'Malley held out Aaron's nightstick. "Take it along with you, officer. Puts the fear of God into the niggers and makes Mr. Horowitz feel a little more secure. See he gives you a nice glass of that egg-cream soda you people like so much."
Aaron could feel O'Malley's hard stare along the back of his neck as he walked with his long, crazy-legged strides. He was conscious of the weight of the stick in his hand and the thumping of the .38 against his thigh.
The candy store was dimly lit, small, scruffy, dirty. A bell jingled as he opened the door. Two black men turned to regard him, their faces stiff, sullen, disinterested. Their eyes slid from Aaron to each other and as though by silent, mutual agreement, they concentrated once more on the heavy, chipped mugs of coffee.
The old man was short, round, frazzled. His hair stood in thin bushy clumps around his skullcap; his wire-framed glasses magnified watery, colorless eyes. His brows were thick and unruly and dominated a broad, wrinkled forehead. He leaned from behind the chipped marble counter, raised his hands in a familiar gesture of greeting that seemed almost supplication.
"So, ITLνITL, officer, what you'd like to have? A nice ice-cream soda, it's such a hot night for October." As he spoke, his hands snatched at a tall glass, grabbed eagerly at an ice-cream scoop.
"Make it a plain seltzer, please."
"A plain seltzer?" The old man seemed offended. "You should have a little something in it, maybe a little milk and some syrup, so we make you nice chocolate or vanilla egg cream maybe?"
Aaron shook his head, glanced at the two black men who were listening but pretending not. "Just plain seltzer, really." His fingers slid two pennies across the marble counter.
Surprised, the old man carefully slid the pennies back toward Aaron's hand and looked fully into his face for the first time. "Nu, you insult me. You come here to insult me, you can't take a glass of seltzer by me." The round magnified eyes blinked rapidly, then held steady, puzzled by Aaron's face. "Gott in himmel, a landsman. So what are you doing in that? That blue, a boy like you."
The two Negroes slid their attention between the two white men, one old and funny-talking, the other nothing but a policeman. They couldn't understand the old man's surprise or what he was talking about or what connection had suddenly sprung between them. Whatever it was, the two black men didn't get it; whatever it was, the two white men seemed comfortable with each other, like old friends.
"Everyone has to live," Aaron told the old man apologetically.
Mr. Horowitz held his head to one side for a moment as he considered Aaron's words. Then he nodded and turned away. "Yah, yah, true. Everyone got to live." He reached up, withdrew a pack of Camels from the cigarette rack. "So, I hope this is the right brand for you. If not, you tell me. I got others." His gnarled fingers indicated his wares.
Aaron shook his head. "Thanks, but I don't smoke."
"You don't smoke?" the old man asked incredulously. "What's you don't smoke got to do with the price of apples?" He reached for Aaron's hand, pressed the package of cigarettes into the large palm along with a five-dollar bill. "Nu, you got something to learn maybe they didn't teach you yet?" He jerked his head to one side, turned his body away from his customers, cupped his hand around his mouth and motioned Aaron closer to him.
"You tell them, please, you tell them not six this month. My wife, she had to go to the doctor twice this week." He held up two fingers for emphasis. "Twice this week alone and that shtunk, the fees he charges, he should die choking on money."
Aaron placed the cigarettes and the money back into the old man's hand and shook his head. "I just came in for a seltzer," he said.
The old man shrugged. "Look, boychik, it ain't nothin' to do with you. Ain't nothin' to do with me neither if you want to know the truth. I'm glad the boys come around. This way everyone knows they have to behave themselves." His eyes moved sideways toward the two men, still hunched over coffee cups. "It ain't you who picks up, then it's somebody else. It's the way of life. You'll do yourself a favor, you'll do me a favor, just do what's expected." He pressed Aaron's fingers tightly around the pack of cigarettes and the money, held his hand for a moment, gave it a squeeze and released it. "It's the way things are. I'm grateful God should be so good to me I got my health." He turned now to the two black men and smiled. "You're finished the coffee now, gentlemen, you'll give me, please, that's five cents each, and I'll wash up the cups and tell you good night so I can go home and go to bed."
The two men stood slowly, regarded the old man, then Aaron, then each other. Wordless, the taller of the two dug into a torn pocket, fingered around inside the lining and came up with a dime, which he placed, somewhat regretfully, on the counter. Then they left and the bell on the door jangled as they shut it behind them.
"So, ITLνITL, a Jewish policeman. When I think of policemen in the old country ..." Mr. Horowitz put his hands on either side of his face and rocked his head from side to side. He studied Aaron for a moment, his face softened and he said kindly, "Look, don't be so upset by this, this with the cigarette package. A little here, a little there, things run nice and smooth. The schwartzes know the police look after things, so I ain't got no problems with them. It's worth it to me, you fellas stop in now and then, have a soda and a shmooz."
Aaron's hand felt clammy and sticky on the cellophane package. The bill was damp against his palm. "This"—he held the pack up—"this is regular?"
Excerpted from Law and Order by Dorothy Uhnak. Copyright © 1973 Dorothy Uhnak. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsPART ONE: The Father: Sergeant Brian O'Malley 1937,
PART TWO: The O'Malleys,
PART THREE: The Son: Patrolman Brian Thomas O'Malley 1940,
PART FOUR: The Grandson: Patrolman Patrick Brian O'Malley 1970,
A Biography of Dorothy Uhnak,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was absolutely awesome. Follows several generations and you are so wrapped up in their lives that it's a shame when it ends. The only issues I had with the book were the spelling mistakes and dropped sentences. Probably from electronic format issues. It would be nice if more books were this interesting and made you keep reading all night long! Love, love, loved it!
Good but not great read. Would do well as a TV mini series.
Formatic for the noir police procedure these are best written for tv as casting is everthing and city background visual